17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars
Worthy but dull, 20 Nov 2012
This official biography, which is based on Leigh Fermor's papers and the recollections of friends, is clearly written and accessible. In places - notably the familiar story of the kidnapping of General Kreipe, the book comes to life but elsewhere it is often irredeemably dull. There is insufficient humour and the author gives too many lists of friends and acquaintances, often without any explanation of their significance.
Another Amazon reviewer has pointed to the fact that coverage of the latter part of his life is too compressed and I was disappointed that Artemis Cooper did not really capture the essence of the Mani or what it meant to her subject. This is relatively little about how Leigh Fermor worked as an author in producing his two most important books - Mani and Roumeli.
The author presents a sympathetic portrait of Leigh Fermor but no real analysis although it is clear from her evidence that he had serious character flaws as well as considerable strengths. The fact that he devoted so much energy to feeding his own oversize ego - as well as being more than happy to live at the expense of others for most of his life - throws more light on his character than his biographer is prepared to admit.